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|Princess Märtha Louise|
| HH Princess Märtha Louise|
HRH Princess Märtha Louise (more)
| Maud Angelica Behn|
Leah Isadora Behn
Emma Tallulah Behn
|House||House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg|
|Father||Harald V of Norway|
|Born|| 22 September 1971 |
|Religion||Christianity, Church of Norway (Lutheran)|
*Member of the Norwegian Royal House
Princess Märtha Louise of Norway (born 22 September 1971 in Oslo) is the only daughter of King Harald V and Queen Sonja. She is fourth in the line of succession to the Norwegian throne, after her brother and his two children.
Princess Märtha Louise was born on 22 September 1971 to the then Crown Prince Harald and Crown Princess Sonja. At birth, she was not in line to the throne, because until 1990, only males could inherit the Norwegian throne (Salic law). She was christened a few months after her birth. Her godparents are King Olav V of Norway, Princess Margaretha of Sweden, Count Flemming of Rosenborg, Princess Ragnhild of Norway, Dagny Haraldsen, Haakon Haraldsen, Nils Jørgen Astrup and Ilmi Riddervold.
In 1973, Märtha Louise was joined by a younger brother Haakon Magnus. In 1990 the Norwegian constitution was altered, granting full cognatic primogeniture to the Norwegian throne, meaning that the eldest child, regardless of gender, takes precedence in the line of succession. This change only affects those born in 1990 or later. Females born between 1971 and 1990 (i.e. only Märtha Louise), were given succession rights, but their brothers would be before them in the line of succession, meaning that Prince Haakon still took precedence over Märtha Louise in the line of succession.
After the births of her brother's two children, Ingrid Alexandra and Sverre Magnus, Märtha Louise was relegated to fourth in line. The princess is also 71st in the line of succession to the throne of each of the sixteen Commonwealth Realms, as a great-great-granddaughter of King Edward VII.
Princess Märtha Louise is a certified physiotherapist, following education in Oslo and internship in Maastricht, the Netherlands.
She has not practiced her profession, however, choosing instead, from her fascination in traditional Norwegian folk tales as well as a love of music, to establish her own commercial entertainment business based on giving public and televised performances reciting folk tales and singing with well-known Norwegian choirs. In December 2003, she took part in Oslo Gospel Choir's Christmas concert with a solo performance, included on the companion CD album.
On 1 January 2002, after Princess Märtha Louise started her own business, in order to work with more freedom from her constitutional role as a princess, she began paying income tax, and the King, after consulting her, issued a royal edict which removed Princess Märtha Louise's style of Royal Highness (she is entitled to the style Highness when abroad). However, she retains her place in the line of succession, and, though her activities were reduced, she still carries out some public duties on behalf of the King.
After several postponements due to family births and her father's illness, during which the princess took on some representation duties, Princess Märtha Louise and her husband moved to New York City in October 2004. In 2004, her first book, a children's story about the first royal family of Norway was released – Why Kings and Queens Don't Wear Crowns. Accompanying the book is a CD version of the Princess reading her story aloud.
Princess Märtha Louise has studied physiotherapy, trained as a Rosen therapist and studied at an academy for holistic medicine. She claims she can communicate with animals and angels and has started her own alternative medical school named Astarte Education, after one of the oldest goddesses in the Middle East.
On 2 October 2007, Princess Märtha Louise became the first member of the Norwegian Royal Family to ever appear in a court of law as she wanted to halt sales of a book entitled Martha's angels.
In 2007 the Princess was editor of the book "Prinsesse Märtha Louises eventyrlige verden, Eventyr fra jordens hjerte, Rodinia" containing 67 fairy tales from 50 countries.
Spirituality school controversyEdit
On 22 June 2007, Märtha Louise and business partner, former ship mechanic Elisabeth Samnøy, announced the planned opening of a new private school, Astarte Education, in Oslo. According to the information on the company's official webpage, the school will offer a three year program, at the cost of 12,000 Norwegian kroner (about $2100 US) per semester, in which students will be introduced to the techniques of healing and reading. Märtha Louise also promised that the school will teach students to communicate with angels. The slogan of the school is "Use angels and your own power to create miracles in your life". The course began on 22 August 2007 and the classes filled up immediately. The address listed on the website is the princess' own home address at her home in Lommedalen, west of Oslo, and the phone number listed on the official website is the Royal Palace phone number.
The princess has come under media scrutiny in Norway after the announcement, with some, such as the newspaper Bergens Tidende, calling for her to give up her royal titles. Swedish author and columnist Jan Guillou urged Märtha Louise to "seek treatment". Norwegian state director of Health Lars E. Hanssen, prominent Norwegian alternative medicine advocate Dr. Bernt Rognlien, Norwegian technical university NTNU religious historian Asbjørn Dyrendal and University of Oslo theology professor Inge Lønning all expressed misgivings about the princess' plans. Norwegian televangelist Jan Hanvold accused the princess of "blasphemy" and said she was "an emissary from hell."
On 11 August 2007, Märtha Louise defended the school on NRK, the Norwegian public service television network.
On 24 May 2002 Princess Märtha Louise married in Trondheim author Ari Behn (born 1972 as Ari Bjørshol; he later took his grandmother's name).
Liv Mildrid Gjernes designed the Norwegian government's gift for the couple, two cupboards entitled "Ikons for the Hearts". In each cupboard there were seven exclusive pieces of handicraft, from different regions of Norway, produced by other Norwegian artisans.
Princess Märtha Louise and Ari Behn have three daughters:
- Maud Angelica Behn (29 April 2003)
- Leah Isadora Behn (8 April 2005)
- Emma Tallulah Behn (29 September 2008)
Change in styleEdit
In 2002, the King (with Princess Märtha Louise's consent) removed Princess Märtha Louise's style of Her Royal Highness and instead styled her as Her Highness (this title is not used in Norway). This was meant to loosen connections with the Royal Family and her business life. However, she retains her title as a Norwegian princess and her place in the line of succession and still carries out royal duties on behalf of the King (though they are reduced).
Princess Märtha Louise's FundEdit
Her Royal Highness Princess Märtha Louise's Fund was founded on 15 September 1972 and awards funds to projects carried out by non-governmental organisations in order to provide assistance to disabled children under the age of 16 in Norway. Princess Märtha Louise is the fund's chairperson. In 2005 the fund had assets of approximately NOK 13,285,000, and total annual allocations came to about NOK 500,000.
On 18 January 2006 Princess Martha Louise (along with the rest of the Norwegian Royal Family) revised her patronage list, and will no longer be a royal patron of any cultural groups including the annual Bjørnson literary festival; her brother Crown Prince Haakon will take over that position. She will only retain six patronage roles, all of them health related. They include the country's foundations for the blind, deaf and those with epilepsy. "With these changes, we want to eliminate possible doubt about role conflicts for the princess." palace spokesman Astrid Versto told newspaper VG.
- The Norwegian Sports Organisation for the Disabled
- The Norwegian Association of the Deaf
- Norway Muscular Dystrophy Association
- The Norwegian Epilepsy Association
- The Norwegian Rheumatism Association
- The Norwegian Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted
Titles, styles, honors, and armsEdit
- 1971 – 2002: Her Royal Highness Princess Märtha Louise of Norway
- 2002 - : Her Highness Princess Märtha Louise of Norway
- Grand Cross with Collar of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav
- The Royal House Centenary Medal
- Haakon VIIs Centenary Medal
- Olav Vs Commemorative Medal of 30. January 1991
- Olav Vs Jubilee Medal 1957-1982
- Olav Vs Centenary Medal
- Royal Family Order of King Olav V of Norway
- Royal Family Order of King Harald V of Norway
- Denmark: Knight of the Elephant
- Finland: Grand Cross of the Order of the White Rose
- Iceland: Grand Cross of the Order of the Falcon
- Jordan: Grand Cross of the Order of Al-Kawkab Al Urdoni (Order of the Star of Jordan)
- Luxembourg: Grand Cross of the Order of Adolphe of Nassau
- Portugal: Grand Cross with Collar of the Order of Infante Dom Henrique
- Spain: Grand Cross of the Order of Civil Merit
- Sweden: Grand Cross of the Order of the Polar Star
- Sweden: King Carl XVI Gustaf's 50th Anniversary Medal